The question of who actually ran cities in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries has been increasingly debated in recent years. As well as trying to understand the distribution of political power and the rise of broad political participation, urban historians have questioned how and whether elites retained influence in municipal government. The essays in this collection provide a detailed examination of the relationship between urban elites and the exercise of 'power', bringing together economic, social and cultural history with the political history of power resources and decision-making. The volume challenges common perceptions of a monolithic urban elite by looking at specific case studies. Collectively these essays provide a more sophisticated view of the exercise of urban power as the negotiation of various elite groups defined by their economic, social, political or cultural privilege. To contribute to this complex account of the history of cities, elites, and their influence, the collection applies a range of methodological approaches to studying European and American cities, as well as the wider world.
Table of Contents
Contents: General Editors' Preface; Preface; Introduction: who ran the cities?, Ralf Roth and Robert Beachy. Part I The British Model - City Elites in the United Kingdom: Elite and pluralist power in 18th century English towns: a case study of King's Lynn, Emi Kinoshi; Urban power, industrialisation and political reform: Swansea elites in the town and region, 1780-1850, Louise Miskell; Who really ran the cities? Municipal knowledge and policy networks in British local government 1832-1914, James Moore and Richard Rodger; Running an unregulated town: strategies of Lincoln's municipal elite 1860-1910, Denise McHugh; The challenge of urban democracy: municipal elites in Edinburgh and Leipzig 1890-1930, Michael SchÃ¤fer. Part II Diversity - Formal and Informal Structures of Continental Europe's City Elites: Governing Trondheim in the 18th century: formal structures and everyday life, Steinar Supphellen; German urban elites in the 18th and 19th centuries, Ralf Roth; Voluntary society in mid-19th-century Pest: urbanisation and the changing distribution of power, ÃrpÃ¡d TÃ³th; Running 'modern' cities in a patriarchal milieu: perspectives from the 19th century Balkans, Dobrinka Parusheva. Part III Democratic Metropolises - City Elites in North America: Class and politics: the case of New York's bourgeoisie, Sven Beckert; A 'Jeffersonian skepticism of urban democracy'? the educated middle class and the problem of political power in Chicago 1880-1940, Marcus GrÃ¤ser; Patrician elites and power in 19th century Montreal and Quebec City, Brian Young; Bibliography; Index.
Ralf Roth is Private Docent of History at the Department of History at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Robert Beachy is Associate Professor of History at Goucher College, USA.